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Minerva Stomatologica 2015 October;64(5):241-52


language: English, Italian

Oral health conditions of the elderly in Ancona: a population-based study

Coccia E. 1, Santarelli A. 1, Ponzio E. 2, Procaccini M. 1, Rappelli G. 1

1 School of Dentistry, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy; 2 Unit of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy


AIM: Information currently available regarding the oral health of elderly people is poor, especially in Italy. The aim of this study was to evaluate oral health conditions in older people in the city of Ancona, Italy. The usefulness of a dedicated medical record, specifically designed for older people, was tested.
METHODS: A total of 124 elderly subjects aged between 65 and 95 years, all autonomous and self-sufficient, were recruited for this study. The specific medical/dental record, designed for older people, was used to collect data and was divided into three parts. The first part lists the patient’s demographics. The second part was devoted to general medical history. The third part includes the dental history and the dental visit. As regards the oral conditions, injury to the soft tissues, degree of oral hygiene, presence of caries, periodontal diseases, missing teeth, presence of the prosthesis, and presence of xerostomia, were noticed.
RESULTS: Among the examined subjects 53% were male and 47% were female. The most prevalent medical condition was hypertension (64.5%); 74.2% of the examined population took up to 3 drugs/day, while the 25.8% more than 3 drugs/day. Only 9.6% of patients had soft tissues lesions and only 33.3% had sufficient oral hygiene; 45.1% of patients suffered decayed teeth; 44% of patients had fewer than 8 missing teeth, the 33.4% had the number of missing teeth including between 9 and 15, and 22.6% had more than 16 missing teeth. Only 7 patients were completely edentulous; 32.3% of the patients had fixed partial dentures, 17.7% had removable partial dentures, 22.6% had both fixed partial dentures and removable partial dentures, 4% removable total dentures and 23.4% do not have any dentures. Only 29.1% patients had xerostomia.
CONCLUSION: The most important data from this study are the following: 1) the majority of elderly patients is hypertensive; 2) the majority of elderly patients take up to 3 drugs/day; 3) the majority of elderly patients has insufficient oral hygiene; 4) the majority of elderly patients do not have removable dentures but fixed dentures. Therefore, it is important to preserve and take care of the teeth of the older people, especially of the autonomous and self-sufficient elderly patients. Further visits are therefore necessary in order to make a complete epidemiological study in Ancona.

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